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                               News & Views Monday 21st July to Sunday 27 th July 2014

What Does a Woman Need to Know Before her Asylum Interview?

There is a new leaflet which provides information about the rights of women in the asylum process. Particularly relevant for women before they have their asylum interview. It was produced by Why Refugee Women and was written by women who have been through the asylum process themselves, download the leaflet <> here . . . .

Keep Fahim and Zubair in the UK
Fahim and Zubair were born in Afghanistan. At 15 years old, Fahim witnessed the murder of his mother, father and sister. He fled Afghanistan with his little brother, Zubair, in genuine fear for their lives, and 9 months later they arrived in the UK.

Despite the obvious barriers both boys have had to face, they continue to keep positive and continually contribute to our community. In just five years, Fahim managed to learn a new language, accumulate 10 GCSE's, leave college with 18 distinctions (the equivalent to 3 A* at A Level) and is now looking forward to taking his place at Leeds University to study International Relations. Equally, Zubair has managed to overcome barriers of language and learning, completing 9 GCSE's and is about to begin his second year at college. They fear being returned to Afghanistan.

We believe that Fahim and Zubair should continue to live in a safe and loving environment; where they are cared for; where they can enjoy all the support and help that comes with being part of a family and community; to be able to complete their education within the UK; where they are given the best possible chance of success for their futures.
Please sign their Online Petition <>Here . . . .

British Citizenship Applications (War Crimes Screening)
The Minister for Security and Immigration (James Brokenshire): The Equality (War Crimes etc.) Arrangements 2013 and the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) (War Crimes etc.) Arrangements 2013 enable me to subject applications from certain nationalities for British citizenship to more rigorous scrutiny than others for the purposes of determining whether the applicant has committed, been complicit in the commission of, or otherwise been associated with, the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

The condition for subjecting these applications to more rigorous scrutiny is that the applicant is a national of a state specified on a list approved personally by me for the purpose of the arrangements.

I have now reviewed and approved this list in accordance with our commitment to do so annually. I am satisfied that the conditions set out in the arrangements are met in respect of the countries on the list.

The arrangements will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis and will remain in force until revoked.
House of Commons: 17 July 2014 : Column 90WS

7,400 Migrant Arrests at Calais
French police arrested more than 7,400 migrants in Calais trying to make their way across the Channel to Britain in the first six months of this year. The figure is more than double the 3,129 arrested in the same period last year. In the first fortnight of July alone officers detained 1,200 migrants in Calais, the local police prefecture said on Friday. Most of the migrants came from the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea and many appeared to have arrived in Europe via Lampedusa in Italy, officials said. The police prefecture said the increase in arrests was down to a combination of a growing flux of migrants gathering in the port area and better detection methods., <>18/07/14

United Kingdom v Council of the European Union
The present action signals a new round in the bitter dispute between the United Kingdom and the Council of the European Union over what legal basis is to be used when the European Union wishes to participate, within the framework of an association with a third country, in the adoption of social legislation intended to benefit the nationals of the third country, on the one hand, but also European Union citizens, on the other.

[Verifying an Asylum Seeker's Claimed Sexual Orientation]

Advocate General Sharpston considers that when verifying an asylum seeker's claimed sexual orientation, Member States' freedom of action is constrained by the Charter of Fundamental Rights

Although Member States do have the right to verify the credibility of such claims, certain verification methods such as medical and pseudo-medical examinations, intrusive questioning and requiring evidence of sexual activities are all incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights

Advocate General's Opinion in Joined Cases C-148/13, C-149/13 and C-150/13 A, B, C

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 84
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 8th July and 21st July 2014 - Volume 84  <> here . . .

Leeds No Borders - Current Campaigns Needing Support

Ahmed's Campaign <> Darlin's Campaign <> Orashia's Campaign<>

Rosemary's Campaign <> Sanaz's campaign<>

Here are updates of previous campaigns (July 2014)

Michel has won his fight to continue his Masters despite Home Office trying to threaten him earlier this year. Such unnecessary stress on him & his family and a huge waste of money and time. Thanks to everyone who supported his campaign :)Margret, a lesbian activist from Uganda had their flight cancelled and will be released from Yarl's Wood shortly. Huge thanks to everyone who campaigned! :)

Big thanks to everyone for supporting these brave women with their successful campaigns :)

Genevieve was finally released from Yarl's Wood to be reunited with her daughter and husband at last.

Deborah's flight cancelled! She now is out of Yarl's Wood & back with her friends in Portsmouth.

Florence was released from Yarl's Wood and is now back with her friends in Leeds.

Funeka just rang to say she has lodged a judicial review so her forced removal tonight is now Cancelled! For more about her campaign please click here

Sibongile's Flight Cancelled, she was released from Yarl's Wood and is now back with her family in Leeds.
Big thanks to everyone who put pressure on Virgin & Home Office.
Shut down Yarl's Wood! Freedom of movement for all!

Many thanks for reading :)

Leeds No Borders
For general enquiries & media: 07784194431
For signing or detention support: 07466699812

Convert, Pay Tax, or Die, Islamic State Warns Christians
Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq's dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement issued by the Islamic State (Isis) and distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul. The al-Qaida offshoot that led last month's lightning assault to capture swathes of northern Iraq said the ruling would come into effect on Saturday.

In the statement, Isis said Christians who wanted to remain in the "caliphate" declared earlier this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a "dhimma" contract – a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as "jizya". "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," the announcement said.
Read more:, <>18/07/14

'A Very Dangerous world to be Gay in
When S Chelvan's name was called out in a room packed with lawyers at last month's Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, the applause was thunderous. Speaking after accepting the gong for Legal Aid Barrister of the Year 2014 for his work in one of the most politically charged areas of the law – immigration and asylum – he made no bones about why representing vulnerable people caught up in the system matters: "We are dealing with saving people's lives," he told the audience.

For over a decade, Chelvan (his "given" name, which he is known by, in line with his Sri Lankan Tamil origins) has built a reputation as a campaigning advocate across immigration and asylum law. But the area for which he has become best known is representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) people fleeing homophobic or transphobic persecution. "It is a very dangerous world to be gay in," he says.

Chelvan, 39, who has been an out gay man since his early 20s, has helped spearhead some of the most important landmark LGBTI asylum cases in the UK and European courts in recent years, triggering major policy shifts in the process. Respected by colleagues and clients alike, he is known for taking on cases other barristers might not.
Read more: Mary O'Hara, <>The Guardian

Last updated 23 July, 2014